URBAN ARMOR FOR THE GLAMOURATTI

From Milla Jovovich to Nicki Minaj, the stars are lining up for a Laurel DeWitt custom creation. “Celebrities have so many options. It’s truly an honor when they opt to wear one of my designs,” says the Brooklyn-based designer. Vanessa Hudgens, Khloe Kardashian, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Kelly Rowland, Lil Kim, Brandy, Will.i.am and Eve have all rocked her designs and from one look at the collection, we know why.

Specializing in metal apparel and jewelry design, DeWitt has had a somewhat meteoric rise since launching her jewelry label LaureLuxe in 2010. The demand for her eclectic style of urban armory led to the evolution of an all-encompassing line, under her own name, which now includes everything from red carpet gowns to men’s suspenders.

DeWitts distinctive aesthetic is born of a combination of draped metal chain, leaflets, plated armor, chain fringe and tassel, all expertly fashioned with jaw-dropping results. “If I could, I would make everything as a complicated structured costume and play in a fantasy editorial-driven land,” says DeWitt. “But, I’m also contemplating making more wearable metal “fabric” type pieces, which will reduce the weight of the garments. I wouldn’t say it’s a compromise, as much as an evolution, necessary to contemplate as my company grows and our consumer base expands.”

Having to forge her own way, DeWitt studied fashion design at the Pratt Institute choosing to use metal as her creative medium, a decision that brings its own challenges. “I definitely learn something new with every piece. There are no textbooks on “metal apparel,” says DeWitt. “I try to constantly evolve despite the swollen hands, bruises, blood and even a trip to the ER, when I was working on a custom project for Will.i.am.”

Suffering for her art, DeWitt’s commitment to inspired design means 2015 is set to be an even bigger year with a focus on branding, business and expansion. “I’m always striving for deeper collections with offerings for everyone,” says DeWitt.  “I try my hardest to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. The only thing I can truly control is the product and I stand by my tried-and-true motto: Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.” LaurelDeWitt.com — ANGELA GILLTRAP